Floating Away Anxiety,  Depression and Fear

Excerpt from “The Book of Floating” / Michael Hutchison

We have all experienced one or more symptoms associated with anxiety . . . pounding heart, feelings of loss of control, butterflies in the stomach, irritability, restlessness, fear. In many cases anxiety is an appropriate response to a specific threat. But when it spirals out of control into panic, or is not associated with a specific cause or object and becomes a phobia, anxiety is a life-disrupting, debilitating illness.

Going into a float tank has a dramatic effect on the biochemicals associated with anxiety and depression. This makes sense, since the place where external events – such as divorce or an airplane flight – are translated into physiological / internal events is in the visceral brain, particularly through the actions of the hypothalamus and pituitary; and it is in exactly that part of the brain that the experience and sensation of floating in an float tank has its most direct influence.

Numerous controlled studies of the physiological effects of floating have proven conclusively that it reduces muscular tension, blood pressure, heart rate and pulse (e.g. O’Leary and Heilbronner; Stanley, Francis, and Berres, Belden and Jacobs). In a one-year statistical study, Belden and Jacobs found that the float tank was impressive in reducing anxiety:  in all subjects, floating reduced intensity of anxiety by 74 percent, frequency of anxiety by 65 percent, psychophysiological symptoms by 65 percent.

There are already many mental health professionals in the U.S. and Canada who rely on the float tank as a therapeutic tool, either by integrating it directly into the therapeutic process or by recommending it to patients as an adjunct to therapy.

For more information about floating go to FloatNorthCounty.com or call 858.925.6069.